Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Culture Project: 2013-2013 School Year

The 4th grade Culture Celebration continues to evolve as we embed new standards, develop collaborative practice, and work with new groups of children.

What remains is the fact that this project builds community, self awareness, knowledge, understanding, and respect.

Rather than hide our cultural roots or interests, the projects display children's curiosity, insights, background, and newly developed skill, concept, and knowledge.

This year's project will have many similar components to the past projects including the following:
  • A guiding project website which we revisit each year to review and refine. 
  • Study of immigration, migration, and culture.
  • Research, writing paragraphs, and presenting information on the five F's of culture: flag, family/faith, fashion, food, and fun.
  • Images, artifacts, and captions.
  • A food to share with the class.
  • A grade-wide bulletin board that celebrates our cultural diversity.
  • A family celebration.
  • Student "headline" introductions.
This year we may even have the chance to make a grade-wide film that displays each child and their statement about the culture they're studying and the reason why that's important to them.

As we grow the project more in year's to come we've been discussing the need to embed even more discrete lessons on research skills and informational text writing. I'd also like to involve students more in the area of essential questions and project focus.  Right now we have a similar focus for all which serves children well with regard to sharing information with each other and families, but more input from children at the start of the project will likely develop even more engagement. 

The next few days will be days of focused attention to editing, poster making, bulletin board design, headline writing, museum creation, and presentation practice.  All the while we need to keep the primary focus of this project center stage--the chance to celebrate our cultural similarities and differences with the message that our diverse cultures make us a more dynamic community of friends and learners. 

Related Posts:
Culture Flags: Introductory Activity